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'New' BMW 2002tii

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Cataloging the Past: BMW Mobile Tradition builds an “original” 2002tii from its own parts book
Posted Date: 11/18/05
BMW has worked for more than a generation developing its “Ultimate Driving Machine” reputation. In 1959 its three-box body cars were the ones to have, and today the potent V10 M5 sedan carries on the tradition.

Back then, though, the most sought after by enthusiasts was the 2002tii, whose designation means “Touring International (with) Injection.” Of some 39,000 2002tiis sold between 1971 and 1975, 7500 came to the States between August 1971 and December 1974.

As you read this, BMW Mobile Tradition (the vintage caretakers of the marque) in Munich is holding a kind of living exhibit in its temporary museum facility. A huge new museum nearby should be completed by mid-2006. Here you can watch two craftsmen build a “1973 tii” from the tires up, using the Mobile Tradition’s catalogue of original parts.

Part publicity stunt, part marque preservation, the effort demonstrates that you can order practically any original part for your project Bimmer—nearly 90 percent of all 2002 parts are available. Not only is this a cool show, the completed car will be auctioned for charity in the spring.

On this project car, mechanics used an available 1974 body-in-white, and opted to modify it. They cut the ’74 rear trunk panel (with rectangular taillight sections) and replaced it with the classic, smaller, circular ’73 taillights. With perfect welds beneath new-original Colorado orange paint, who could have noticed the switch-out had chief mechanic Arthur Heimann not pointed it out?

This tii comes with an optional five-speed ZF manual gearbox and standard Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system. These account for added performance from the longitudinal 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This setup puts horsepower at 140 at 5800 rpm, torque at 130 lb-ft at 4500 rpm and a 0-to-60-mph time of 9.3 seconds.

On one hand, yes, this means you could do all this work at home yourself. On the other, you might choose to have a new catalog car built, but “…it’s not terribly practical in and of itself,” Heimann said. “I’d estimate [cost at] roughly e 80,000 ($97,000).”

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Read it in Autoweek last night. I love 2002s. About ten years ago I saw one in EXCELLENT (over-restored) condition. It was medium green and had the early 70s round tail lights. WE were driving along in the middle of Massachusetts coming back from Lyme Rock Raceway. They're so small.... it's like a Mini Cooper sedan.

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I always liked the 2002 also.....I think BMW has strayed too far from that elemental sports sedan tradition. It was so pure in it's intent.

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How awesome would it be if manufacturers actually saved enough parts to sell for years to come? Want a 455 SD? OK, order it from GM. Want a Chevelle to put it in? Order the parts you need to build it.

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As far as the coolest Musclecar of all time: 1969 Camaro, this HAS become a reality. It's not GM selling them however, it's the aftermarket.


Someday I will have a 1969 Camaro, for now it's on to a 1959 Buick hardtop.

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